· Gilbert Family Foundation investing $10 million as part of the organization’s $500 million commitment to building opportunity and equity in Detroit
· Enterprise Community Partners, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative to serve as administrators, providing funding to community partners, starting with those participating in DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Assistance Program
· Residents can call (313)306-2082 to determine their eligibility
DETROIT, May 3, 2022 – The Gilbert Family Foundation, ProMedica and DTE Energy today debuted the Detroit Home Repair Fund (DHRF), which will build capacity for non-profit partners to provide low-income Detroit homeowners with critical home repairs.
The organizations have jointly committed more than $20 million to the DHRF over the next three years. The program is expected to serve more than 1,000 Detroit homeowners, with no minimum or maximum spend on each home.
One of the goals of the DHRF is to holistically address Detroit housing stability by leveraging multiple home repair resources at once. As a result, the first track of DHRF will be available to community partners already working with DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) Program. Eligible recipients are owner-occupied Detroit homeowners with income at or below the 200% federal poverty line who have applied for the 2022 Homeowner Property Exemption (HOPE). Interested Detroit residents can call (313)306-2082 to inquire about the DHRF.
“Stable housing is about more than a place to live, it is about ensuring residents and their families feel safe and secure in their home,” said Jennifer Gilbert, co-founder of the Gilbert Family Foundation, which is investing $10 million to launch the initiative. “We are proud to create the Detroit Home Repair Fund alongside dedicated partners who share our belief that Detroit homeowners should have access to critical repairs and the fulfilling home environment they deserve.”
ProMedica, a national health and well-being organization, is committed to transforming the healthcare system through strategic investments in scaling social determinants of health work. ProMedica is committing to raise $8 million for this effort through its Impact Fund, launched in 2021 to mobilize investment in social determinants of health and healthcare systems change.
“There is already significant evidence that healthier, safer homes are critical for people to be healthy and to spend more time at school, work, and with loved ones and less time in the hospital,” said Randy Oostra, President and CEO of ProMedica. “We’re excited to partner with the Gilbert Family Foundation and DTE Energy in the Detroit Home Repair Fund to provide comprehensive healthy housing services for Detroit homeowners.”
A 2020 report by the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions found that approximately 8,500 owner-occupied homes in Detroit are “inadequate or severely inadequate,” as defined by Department of Housing and Urban Development’s American Housing Survey (AHS). This instability creates a negative cycle that erodes the health of Detroit families and threatens the preservation of generational wealth. People living in unsafe, unhealthy homes are at greater risk of developing health conditions like asthma, suffering injuries from trips and falls, and struggling to pay utilities bills.
The Detroit Home Repair Fund aims to provide many of these Detroit homeowners with the necessary improvements to ensure that their housing is adequate at a minimum. The DHRF expects that repairs will be made to roofs, foundations, stairs, windows, drywall and more.
The Detroit Home Repair Fund will complement a series of existing programs offered by the City of Detroit and its partners, including the American Rescue Plan Act funded Renew Detroit roof repair program, 0% interest home improvement loan program, Senior Emergency Home Repair Grant Program and others.
“The City already is providing more home repair assistance than ever before and we are deeply appreciative to the Gilbert Family Foundation, DTE and ProMedica for recognizing the need that still exists and stepping up to help meet it,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “The most important thing we can do is to help longtime Detroiters stay in their homes. Giving them greater opportunity to make badly needed repairs is an important part of our ability to do that.”
Since taking office, providing low-income residents access to affordable quality housing and home repair funding has been my top priority,” said Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield. “Initiatives like the Detroit Home Repair Fund are crucial to preserving and revitalizing Detroit, because homeownership is the cornerstone for building wealth and stabilizing families. Today’s announcement and investment improves the attainability of those goals, and we are certainly grateful for the Gilbert Family Foundation, DTE and ProMedica’s $20 million commitment to improving the quality of life for the residents of the city we all love.”
Leveraging the EEA Program
DTE’s EEA program allows income-qualified homeowners to make their home more energy efficient by providing them with multiple products to help reduce their monthly bill and make their homes more affordable. These energy-efficiency products include heating system tune-ups or replacements, high efficiency water heaters, energy-efficient refrigerators, energy-efficient lighting and home weatherization services.
DTE is investing $2 million into the DHRF through a philanthropic commitment, as well as expanding its Detroit-based EEA efforts and its Health and Safety Pilot, which addresses barriers to participating in the program, such as roof repair, electrical upgrades and asbestos removal.
“We are committed to powering homes and powering brighter futures for Detroit residents through the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program, and now through the Detroit Home Repair Fund,” said Trevor Lauer, President and COO of DTE Electric. “Together, these programs will provide a greater reach and greater impact to families across our hometown of Detroit.”
How it Works
The Gilbert Family Foundation and ProMedica’s commitment to the Detroit Home Repair Fund will be administered by Enterprise Community Partners and Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI). Enterprise is a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing housing supply, advancing racial equity and building resilience and upward mobility.
“Home is a place of pride, power and belonging, and the Detroit Home Repair Fund will help residents and neighborhoods thrive,” said Priscilla Almodovar, President and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners. “We’re excited to work neighborhood by neighborhood alongside partners that understand local needs to achieve lasting results for residents, neighborhoods and the local economy.”
Since its founding, GHHI has been committed to developing innovative programs to promote healthy housing for all. The organization addresses the health and energy efficiency needs of homes across the country through a holistic intervention model that is being supported by this initiative in Detroit. The GHHI model brings together cross-sector health, energy and housing partners, and looks at housing condition as an integral factor in the health of families and communities and in improving racial equity.
“A safe and healthy home is one of the most powerful indicators of long-term wellbeing and success for homeowners and their families,” said Ruth Ann Norton, President and CEO of Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. “The Detroit Home Repair Fund is a needed intervention whose success will be felt for generations.”
Enterprise and GHHI will invest into and work with community partners that participate in DTE Energy’s EEA program. Participants in the DHRF currently include Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, United Community Housing Coalition, Eastside Community Network, EcoWorks, Matrix Human Services and CLEARCorps Detroit. These non-profit partners will be able to leverage DHRF funding to complete needed repairs in homes that are eligible for the EEA program, providing homeowners with a more streamlined and comprehensive experience.
Detroit Home Repair Fund partners will oversee all facets of residential home repairs, including soliciting bids from contractors, speaking with residents to understand their needs, conducting post-inspections, monitoring compliance with the scope of the repairs and ensuring job satisfaction.
GHHI will host training sessions for non-profit service provider partners on comprehensive assessment tools, braiding funding, best practices, standardization and achieving the DHRF’s mission. It will also provide technical assistance throughout the program’s duration and will partner with ProMedica to measure the program’s impact on health outcomes and healthcare spending over time. GHHI and ProMedica are currently partnering to improve health through housing services in 6 additional communities.
Impact and Future Tracks
Loretta Powell is a Detroit resident who has lived in Detroit’s Good Stock Community since 1967, and at her current residence since 1997. In addition to being a pre-school educator for the Detroit Public Schools Community District, she is active in her community, and has previously canvassed her neighborhood to connect residents to resources that prevent property tax foreclosure.
In 2021, she participated in DTE’s EEA program, receiving a new water heater and furnace for her home. However, she has additional repair needs in her home, which she hopes to obtain through the Detroit Home Repair Fund.
“I need new windows, I have a deck that needs to be repaired, and there are other issues that need to be addressed,” said Powell. “While canvassing in my neighborhood, I’ve visited homes with stairs that were unsafe, and seen first-hand how desperately needed home repair is in Detroit. I’m grateful to the Gilbert Family Foundation, DTE Energy and ProMedica for this investment in me, my neighbors and my community.”
Detroit homeowners like Loretta with income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level can call (313)306-2082 to inquire about the DHRF and get support applying for the Homeowner Property Tax Exemption (HOPE).
The DHRF expects to launch additional tracks to the program in the future to support non-profit organizations who are not currently DTE EEA program partners.
About the Gilbert Family Foundation
The Gilbert Family Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation founded by Jennifer and Dan Gilbert to accelerate a cure for neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and build economic opportunity and equity in the city of Detroit. The Gilbert Family Foundation supports groundbreaking, cutting-edge research in hopes of eradicating NF1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. Additionally, the Foundation supports the economic stability and mobility of residents in Detroit by investing in wealth-building opportunities and breaking down systemic barriers.
For more information on the Gilbert Family Foundation, please visit gilbertfamilyfoundation.org.
ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit health and well-being organization headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. It serves communities in 28 states. The organization offers acute and ambulatory care, an insurance company with a dental plan, and post-acute and academic business lines. The organization has more than 49,000 employees, 12 hospitals, 2,500+ physicians and advanced practice providers with privileges, 1,000+ health care providers employed by ProMedica Physicians and several health plans, as well as 335+ assisted living facilities, skilled nursing centers, memory care communities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and hospice and home health care agencies. Driven by its mission to improve your health and well-being, ProMedica has been nationally recognized for its advocacy programs and efforts to address social determinants of health. For more information about ProMedica, please visit www.promedica.org/aboutus.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.3 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio also includes non-utility businesses focused on industrial energy services, renewable natural gas, and energy marketing and trading. As an environmental leader, DTE utility operations will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80% by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE Electric and Gas aspire to achieve net zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. DTE is committed to serving with its energy through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
About Enterprise Community Partners
Enterprise is a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. We support community development organizations on the ground, aggregate and invest capital for impact, advance housing policy at every level of government, and build and manage communities ourselves. Since 1982, we have invested $54 billion and created 873,000 homes across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – all to make home and community places of pride, power and belonging.
About Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI)
GHHI is dedicated to addressing the social determinants of health and the advancement of racial and health equity through the creation of healthy, safe, and energy efficient homes. By delivering a standard of excellence in its work, GHHI aims to eradicate the negative health impacts of unhealthy housing and unjust policies for children, seniors, and families to ensure better health, economic, and social outcomes for low-income communities of color. As the nation’s leading healthy housing organization, GHHI provides evidence-based direct services, policy support and technical assistance to partners across the country on innovative financing and integrated health, housing and energy models. Visit us at www.ghhi.org and follow us on Twitter @HealthyHousing